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Boka scores twice for Solar Bears in 5-4 OT thriller

Friday, December 31st
Boka scores twice for Solar Bears in 5-4 OT thriller

ORLANDO, Fla. – Luke Boka scored the tying goal with and capped the day with the game-winning tally in sudden-death as the Orlando Solar Bears (15-12-1-0) rallied rom a two-goal deficit and defeated the South Carolina Stingrays (9-14-3-0) by a 5-4 decision in overtime on Friday afternoon at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center.

After Luke McInnis brought Orlando to within one of the Stingrays at 14:57 of the third period, Boka corralled the loose puck after a shot from the point rebounded off Ian Parker, and fired a shot past Cedrick Andrée at 17:25 to draw the Solar Bears level with South Carolina.

Boka notched his second of the day 1:11 into the extra session when he received a pass at the left circle from Jake Transit off the rush and snapped the game-clinching goal past Andrée to close out the calendar year with a flourish and cap a career-high three-point afternoon (2g-1a), equaled by McInnis, who logged a goal and two assists.

Dylan Fitze and Hunter Fejes also scored for the Solar Bears, in a game that saw each team exchange leads.

Brad Barone made 30 saves to pick up his second victory of the week.

BOX SCORE

1st PeriodORL Goal: Dylan Fitze (1) at 14:44. Assisted by Luke Boka and Ian Parker.SC Goal: Ben Holmstrom (1) at 19:17. Assisted by Jake Coleman and Andrew Cherniwchan.SHOTS: ORL 10, SC 16

2nd PeriodSC Goal: Bryce Martin (1) at 5:40. Assisted by Ben Holmstrom and Nico Blachman.SC Goal: Lawton Courtnall (7) at 6:35. Assisted by Connor Moore and Alex Brink.ORL Goal: Hunter Fejes (3) [PP] at 15:34. Assisted by Nolan Valleau and Tristin Langan.SHOTS: ORL 11, SC 9

3rd PeriodSC Goal: Justin Florek (9) [PP] at 6:57. Assisted by Connor Moore and Ben Holmstrom.ORL Goal: Luke McInnis at 14:57. Assisted by Hunter Fejes and Tristin Langan.ORL Goal: Luke Boka (8) at 17:25. Assisted by Luke McInnis and Ian Parker. SHOTS: ORL 13, SC 8

OvertimeORL Goal: Luke Boka (9) at 1:11. Assisted by Jake Transit and Luke McInnis.SHOTS: ORL 1, SC 1

GoaltendingORL: Brad Barone, 30-for-34SC: Cedrick Andrée, 30-for-35

NOTABLES:

  • Orlando is now 2-1-0-0 against South Carolina in the regular season series.
  • The comeback victory improved the Solar Bears to 2-3-0-0 when trailing at home after two periods.
  • The Solar Bears are now 3-1 in games decided in overtime this season.
  • Tristin Langan recorded a pair of assists for the second straight game; he now has 112 points in his (43g-69a) in his Solar Bears career, moving him past Eric Baier and into a tie with Jacob Cepis for fourth in team history in scoring.
  • Hunter Fejes had a goal and an assist, and now has five points (3g-2a) in his last two games. Fejes converted on Orlando’s lone chance with the man advantage for the day.
  • Nolan Valleau assisted on Fejes’ goal in his first game of the 2021-22 season.
  • Dylan Fitze’s goal was his first since March 8, 2020 (with Kansas City vs. Wichita), as he took the ice for Orlando in his 100th career pro game (98 with the Solar Bears).
  • Fabrizio Ricci led Orlando with six shots.

NEXT GAMES: The Solar Bears open up 2022 when they visit the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Saturday, Jan. 1 at 7:05 p.m. at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Orlando returns home to host the South Carolina Stingrays, on Monday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. at the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center.

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